Name: Daniel Lammon
Category: Cat 3
Race Age: 31
Current Team: WYLD STALLYNS
Day Job: I’m a strategist at an ad agency.
How did you get into cycling: I rode a lot as a kid. Bikes were the main mode of transport around the neighborhood for my friends and I. We had trails that ran through the woods between our houses. I rode with my dad sometimes, also. Once I was driving I forgot about bikes until I moved to an apartment just a few blocks from Central Park in 2010. Riding in the park seemed fun, so I bought a $300 road bike off Craigslist and started riding again.
How did you get into racing: I wanted to find people to ride with, so I joined the NYCC. On one of their morning group rides I met Alex Ostroy, who introduced me to the idea of racing. I started riding and racing with siggi’s shortly thereafter.
Favorite local course and why: I’d have to say Central Park for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s two blocks from my apartment, which makes a 5:30 race start a little more bearable. It’s also iconic. Everyone knows what it is. The fact that we get to ride and race bikes in a place like that still blows me away sometimes. Central Park also keeps you on your toes. You could easily round a curve and find yourself face to face with a food cart, ambulance, raccoon, you name it.
Just outside the city, I really enjoy the White Plains Crit course. It’s a great event. Local business support it and the people usually seem pleasant and interested. Turn three is also a super fun screamer coming off that little down hill.
Greatest achievement in racing: Well, I’m still chasing that elusive first win, so my achievements have been relatively modest. I did have a decent weekend of racing last season where I managed to snag two top 5s. Saturday was a Central Park race with a Tavern finish. I took a late race flyer with a little over a kilometer to go. I really thought I was going to make it to the line, but the lead sprinters caught me in the last 15-20 meters. I ended up 4th, which I was still pretty happy with for an A-field park race.
The next day was Tokeneke. One of those freak of nature KMS kids had slipped away with another rider earlier in the race. By the time we got to the final climb, we knew we were racing for 3rd. I put in a little dig at the base of the climb and got a bit of separation. It was a tough slog up that 2 miles, but unlike the day before, I was able to hold it to the line.
Worst Memory of a race: That would have to be the crit stage at GMSR last year. My goal was a top 10 in the GC and the weekend had been going pretty well up to that point. If I recall correctly, I was right around 10th in the GC, and only a handful of seconds separated the riders around me going into that last stage. Time bonuses were available, so I was going to go for them. The race got off to a good start. I was having one of those races where you feel super dialed in – always being on the right wheel to stay in the first 10 riders or so without having to work very hard. When the sprint lap came up, I went for it, and picked up a few seconds. I thought, “Great. Mission accomplished. Now I just have to finish with the field and those few seconds should keep me in the top 10.” The race went on and with 7 to go another rider slammed into the side of me. We locked bars and got sideways when we broke apart, but managed to keep it upright. In the process, however, one of my spokes broke. I was right next to the pit, so I ran back, got a wheel, and hopped back in the race when it came back around. No big deal, right? Well, the race finished. I’m psyched, thinking I’ve made my top 10 goal. The results get posted and I’m 19th in the GC. Surely a simple mistake was made. I talk to the officials who tell me that free laps ended with 8 to go. Since I had to pit at 7 to go, they’d added one lap’s time to my total. That was a tough one to swallow in the moment. In hindsight, I should have known, but in my adrenaline fueled state it never even occurred to me that my race was basically over when I broke that spoke.
Goals/Aspirations: Win a race, damn it. Aside from that, I’d like to get the rest of my points for Cat 2. I’m not even sure if I’ll upgrade right away, but I’d like to have the option.
What is the most fun thing you’ve missed out on for a bike race: I can’t really put my finger on any one particular thing. Having to pass on nights out at the bar with friends who don’t race, weekend brunches, that kind of thing are pretty common. I’ve made it a point the last season or two to strike a more appropriate life/bike balance, though, so it isn’t happening as often as it used to. I’m enjoying training and racing more with that approach.